On 19th & 20th November 2022, Co-Founders Alice and Ben spent the weekend on the RiSE stand at the Kent Coffee Festival. Organiser Luke from Garage Coffee Roasters did a great job hosting the second coffee festival in Kent and brought together a brilliant community of coffee lovers, roasters, home baristas, local cafe owners and industry professionals at the one and only DREAMLAND in sunny Margate!
We met with some familiar faces from roasters that have previously featured in our box, such as Climpson & Sons, Redemption Roasters, Pelicano and Curve. We also made some new friends, with brands such as Wild Oats (Oat milk), Four Rivers (Roaster), Corban Coffee (Roaster), and First crop (Importers).
Read all about our weekend at the festival…
CURVE, FALCON AND LA MARZACCO CUPPING EVENT
For any long-term RiSE members out there, you may remember our partnership with Curve Roasters back in 2021. Seeing as they are based in Margate, the coffee festival was the perfect opportunity for Curve to get really involved in the festival, and for us to spend time with the Curve team. On the Friday night, importers Falcon, La Marzacco and Curve Roasters hosted a cupping session in Curve’s café in the centre of Margate (read here to find out more about cupping!). As well as the cupping we tasted some incredible Ethiopian coffees from Sidamo washing station, alongside a Sainsbury’s “Taste the Difference” Sidamo coffee, to see if we could taste the difference (excuse the pun!). We absolutely could, and Curve’s Sidamo stood out by a mile when tasted side by side.
Alongside the cupping was a really interesting panel talk, where wine expert Steve from Little Swift , Teresa from Curve and Falcon talked about the differences and similarities between Specialty coffee and natural wines. We learnt that the wine world is fraught with fake ‘awards’ that distort a customers perception of quality, that natural wine making is not just about wine being ‘organic’ or ‘biodiverse’, it’s similar to coffee in that is very much about the end to end winemaking process. Finally, Steve hosted a wine tasting where we tried two exceptional Beaujolais wines alongside another supermarket Beaujolais that was much cheaper. Our favourite was the Beaujolais “village” wine. We meant to pick up some from Steve’s wine bar and shop to take home, but we couldn’t carry it all! We’ll definitely be visiting his wine shop again.
The panel discussion was about "‘What’s next for the home coffee market?’ and the panelists were:
Paul Kelly, La Marzocco
Alice Wainwright, RiSE Coffee Box
Luke Powell, Sage Appliances
WIll Hinton, BWT UK Ltd
The group talked about experimenting with making coffee at home, and how this not only helps to make you more knowledgeable about coffee overall, but helps to foster greater connections between coffee lovers and cafés as it starts a dialogue about coffee. The next time you’re out at a café, don’t be afraid to ask the barista about the beans he is using - it’s a great way to learn more about coffee and there’s no such thing as a silly question in the world of coffee.
The panelists also discussed the importance of educating ourselves on the source of the coffee and thinking about the farms and producers behind your coffee. Alice talked about a trip to Uganda that we are planning, where we hope to create video content of farmers themselves, talking about the challenges and opportunities they face.
Hosted in Ben’s favourite EVER brunch spot, Forts cafe is the place to hang out for great coffee, amazing food and the coolest people. On the Saturday night, Oat-milk giant Oatly hosted a ‘zero waste coffee throwdown’ session at Forts. If you are not cool enough to know what this is we will tell you… Think the world cup, but with the great baristas from roasters and cafés from the South Coast, competing round by round to create the best latte art!! A coffee dice is thrown to decide which latte art to make, with the “swan” being one of the hardest. A friend of Ben & Alice, Aidan (from Press coffee & co) made it to the quarter finals, but sadly he was beaten by the Forts barista!
HANGING OUT WITH COFFEE ROASTERS…
It was great to spend time with Nicole and Callum from Climpson, as well as meet the rest of their team. One of our favourite London roasters, and hosts of our recent cupping session we held for subscribers, Climpson are pioneers in coffee roasting. We are super excited to have launched our Christmas box in conjunction with Climpson with our first ever our co-branded, co-created El Salvador coffee. You can buy the box, here!
Founded in 2015 by Luke Underdown, Garage Coffee is a speciality coffee roasters based in the beautiful village of Hoath, just outside of Canterbury, Kent. Owner & Founder Luke identified a gap in the market to bring great coffee to the people of Kent, and started trading at local markets and events to build the Garage brand. By 2016, Garage Coffee had gained a significant following and started to supply some wonderful hospitality businesses across the county.
Four Rivers are small but growing Micro Roastery based in Hertfordshire. Ashley is the Head Roaster and takes care of all things Coffee - from roasting to brewing and cupping. Four Rivers was established and built throughout the COVID pandemic, where Ashley took the time to build the micro roastery and develop his roasting skills. After many long nights, and weekends, Four Rivers Coffee Company was born! We had some amazing conversations with Ashley and his passion for specialty coffee is incredible. We’ve got his samples at home with us now, and we look forward to having them in the box next year!
Redemption Roasters featured in our very first box in July 2020 and you may see them again sometime soon…
There aim: Reducing Reoffending Through Coffee
Why: People leaving prison are 50% more likely to reoffend if they leave without skills or a job. With our prison academies and community training programmes, we’re breaking the cycle of crime and creating pathways to secure and meaningful employment. We train prison residents, and people at risk of crime, with the skills they need for a career in our own coffee shops and with our external partners.
Their specialty coffee is one of our faves and their ethos is unmatched.